Friday, June 15, 2007

Swept Away by the Nationals, Where Do the Orioles Go From Here?

At this point, where do we go from here? As we know by now, the Nationals defeated the Orioles 3-1 at the Yard last night to sweep the three-game series.

I’m not even going to through the details. You can read my report at the DC Sports Box, or look at some of the pertinent links in this post.

In a portion of the season that was soft, the Orioles flopped - badly. Well, business is about to pickup with the Diamonbacks in town, and then the O's got out west to play the Padres, and then the Diamondbacks again.

Then the searing hot Yankees come to Baltimore.

Oh joy.

After a hyped up off-season of great expectations, a rise in a payroll and some hope for a change, it seems like things have just gone to hell.

The Baltimore Orioles just got swept by the Washington Nationals, whom many predicted, would be the worst team in baseball this season and could have possibly been historically bad.

Now, they both share identical records.

Many felt the Orioles would be close to .500 or even above it this season.

Well folks, neither team are following the script written for them. The Nationals are better than expected, while the Orioles look horrible.

It seems that the more things change, the more they have stayed the same. Last year in Baltimore, the problem was pitching and the offense was solid, not the problems are vice versa.

In my honest opinion, I feel very sorry for Sam Perlozzo. I know many wanted him hung at the gallows this season for some of this decision-making and the losing, and I have even taken my shots at him.

It’s not his fault this team is not achieving. However, in the end, he will be the one to take the fall, and Leo Mazzone will be out the door with him.

From the outside looking in, it seems to be the casual observer that the Orioles are downright pitiful and dysfunctional. It’s been almost a decade of losing, and it seems to be the case, no matter the manager, the end result will be the same.

Perhaps the onus should be on Peter Angelos; however, everything starts with the players on the field. They gladly take the paychecks and cash them, so many of them need to look in the mirror and ask themselves what is going wrong, and how I can have a role in making it better.

In covering the Nationals, I know one thing – they play together as team and with heart. They certainly do not have the talent of last year’s Florida Marlins, but they play as a team and no doubt have team chemistry.

That’s more than I can say for the Baltimore Orioles.

***

In light of the negativity today of the post, and throughout Oriole-land, let’s give props to Jeremy Guthrie and the O’s for picking up him. Although he got yet another no-decision, he’s been awesome for us and we all should be glad he’s on the team. The Orioles MLB site has a recap of the game, as does the Baltimore Sun, and the Baltimore Examiner.

It seems no matter what Jeremy Guthrie does bring to the table, he cannot win.

Jay Payton got his 1000th hit last night, but to be honest, it’s of little importance right now considering the state of the Orioles. Jay Payton thinks the milestone was “bittersweet” considering the team lost night and their play as of late is not doing anyone favors.

Bill Ordine’s, O, By the Way blog has a recap of yesterday’s game. If you read through his latest entry, he’s right --- the team has no clutch offense, and does not do the little things right at all. The situational hitting is bad, and to leave that many men on base during a game is atrocious.

Say what you want about the Nationals, at least they play hard and do the best with they have in terms of talent.

Roch Kubatko has his thoughts of the game last night.

Oriole legend and Hall of Famer Eddie Murray was fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday after being fired by the Cleveland Indians earlier this season. Will he be coming back to Baltimore? Most likely, not; however, considering Eddie’s stature here, you know never know.

Matt Palmer’s blog, “The Bottom Line” via the Examiner has reports and thoughts about the Orioles so far…

After the year Corey Patterson has last year, many hoped he’d a fixture in centerfield and move on from his struggles in Chicago. Well, that has not been the case, and he’s mired in a very deep slump. It may be safe to say unless some miracle happens that he will not be in an Orioles uniform next year.

The Baltimore Sun has a question, this time about playing in humid weather.

1 comment:

tws392000 said...

Your take on the difference between the Orioles and the Nationals is something I noticed also. I was watching the Nationals coverage on MASN Wednesday night and, at least to me, it seemed that the Nats were actually playing harder than the O's were. I thought that they Orioles looked like they were just playing to pick up the paycheck. The broadcast had a shot of the Nats dugout after Felipe Lopez tripled in the winning runs and the Nats dugout erupted. It seemed that they wanted to win more than the Orioles did.

Perhaps the weight of expectations has burdened the Orioles, while the Nats are playing more carefree because they didn't have any real expectations when the season began.

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